banner by me
banner by grkgrl88
Title: The Wake-Up Call, Chapters 1-3
Rating: T (PG-13)
Characters: Dean/Sam/John/Missouri Mosley
Disclaimer: I don't own the boys or the show, just the story.
Spoilers: Season 1 is fair game.
Summary: After the events of "Devil's Trap," John and Sam realize Dean's not quite so unbreakable.
A/N: Thanks to Mady Bay for spending her valuable time editing this and providing lots of hand holding. If you read, I’d be most grateful if you could throw the elephant a peanut and comment. Chapter One: Not Before Everything
Note: This story is currently being edited and re-written, so far, through chapter two. This note will be removed once the whole story has been completely revamped. Thank you for your patience. :)
A/N: Thanks to Mady Bay for spending her valuable time editing this and providing lots of hand holding. If you read, I’d be most grateful if you could throw the elephant a peanut and comment.
Chapter One: Not Before Everything
“Dean!” Sam’s cry pierced the air and mingled with his brother’s agonized screams. He tried to focus on the gun just a few feet away. Concentrate, Sam, concentrate on the gun and bring it to you, he thought to himself. If you don’t do this, Dean’s gonna die…have to get the gun—
Another strained, pain-filled cry emerged from Dean. “Dad. Dad, don’t you let it kill me.”
Astonishment flooded Sam’s brain, heart seizing with panic. He tore his eyes from the gun and fixed them on his blood-soaked brother.
“Dad, please…” Dean’s voice was cracked in half. His face tightened in anguish one last time before slacking in unconsciousness, head lolling forward, chin coming to rest on his chest.
Fear vice-gripped Sam’s heart. “No, Dean! No!” he howled, battering against the unseen force holding him in place. Then he heard his father’s voice softly grate, “Stop. Stop it.”
There was a lessening, like a weight being lifted off him, and Sam moved. He dove for the gun on the table, got a grip on it. Feeling its metallic coolness in his hand, he aimed directly at his father.
The Demon turned. “Kill me and you kill daddy,” it sneered, back in control of its host.
“I know,” Sam simply replied before drawing a bead on his father’s leg and squeezing the trigger.
The bullet left the chamber in a cloud of smoke. Sam watched his father slump to the floor. Dean quickly followed. Released from the demon’s grip, he slumped hard against the wooden floor.
Dean gasped inwardly and coughed up more blood, lungs struggling for oxygen. Sam scrambled to his brother’s side
“Dean! Dean? Hey… Oh God, you’ve lost a lot of blood,” Sam choked out, eyes briskly scanning his brother’s trembling, soaked body.
“Where’s Dad?” Dean breathed, dazed eyes searching.
“He’s right here. He’s right here, Dean,” Sam reassured, throwing a quick look over his shoulder at their dad and then back again to the grimacing, drawn face of his brother.
“Go check on him,” Dean choked out.
“Dean?” Sam questioned his brother, unable to believe that, even now, Dean was more concerned for their father’s wellbeing than he was for his own. One more reason his brother would forever be his hero.
“Go check on him,” Dean pleaded, voice breaking with the pain ravaging through him.
Sam glanced back at their father and then again, at his brother. Dean was in worse shape then their father and he didn’t want to leave Dean’s side, but he couldn’t refuse—especially not after all that had happened between them in the last year.
Sam tentatively walked to his dad, still lying on the floor—blood slowly seeping from his leg wound. Was this really Dad or…
He quietly called, “Dad…Dad?”
“Sammy!” John screamed suddenly.
Sam stepped back, flinching.
“It’s still alive. It’s inside me, I can feel it.” John’s body trembled and shook. “You shoot me, you shoot me, you shoot me in the heart, Son! Do it now!” He bellowed, struggling to hold fast to the enemy twisting inside.
“Sam, don’t you do it, don’t you do it,” Sam heard Dean implore as his own arm rose and settled on his father, gun trembling in his hand.
“Sam! You gotta hurry, I can’t hold onto it much longer. You shoot me, Son! Shoot me!” his father raged. “Son, I’m begging you, we can end this here and now! Sammy!”
“Sam, no,” Dean’s voice whispered, torn, fearful--anguished.
“You do this! Sammy…Sam!” his father ordered, pleaded.
Sam couldn’t do it. He couldn’t pull the trigger. He couldn’t do it because this was his father and, despite their differences, he loved him. Sam also knew it would destroy Dean and forever change their relationship as brothers—as friends.
“You do this! Sammy!” John Winchester commanded. “Sam,” he tried once more, the plea ringing clear in his voice. Without warning, he arched off the floor—head thrown backward—the air above him filling with the terrifying black mist pouring from his body along with his frightful screams. The demon fog seeped through the floorboards and disappeared. John cried out in frustrated disappointment, head banging to the floor in defeat.
Dean’s strangled pants for air sharpened. Sam turned. Checking on his brother, he could see Dean’s head droop back to the floor in a flood of relief. Leaving his dad to his private grief, Sam rushed back to Dean with an urgent need to help him.
“Dean, hey…are you still with me?” He hesitated, checking Dean’s pulse and cradling his brother’s head in his lap. Dean was a fighter. Despite the massive amount of blood loss, his heart was beating strongly. At least for now.
“I’m here, Sammy,” Dean feebly responded.
It was like Dean sensed Sam’s need for encouragement. Sam knew Dean hated being the one needing to be saved. It had always been his brother’s job to be the strong one, the big brother with all the answers. He probably felt he was letting Sam down.
Sam gently put his hands under Dean’s armpits, intending to help his brother stand. As he did so, Dean’s face paled sharply and instantly Sam knew his brother wouldn’t be walking out on his own. In one fluid motion, Sam heaved Dean’s weight over his shoulder, up onto his back, trying to ignore Dean’s soft whimpers, trying to be careful not to jostle him any more than he had to.
“Just hold on,” Sam soothed. He turned toward the door, noticing their dad was rising on his own and limping heavily toward them, a makeshift tourniquet tied around his thigh. Wordlessly, John opened the door, allowing Sam to bear his burden to the car. Once Sam reached the Impala, he bent slightly to open the passenger’s back door and deftly deposited his brother inside.
Dean groaned with the movement, face paling further.
Noticing his brother’s shivering body and chattering teeth, Sam took off his favorite tan jacket and cloaked Dean in its warmth. Sam leaned in close to Dean’s face and sought his eyes. Laying a hand gently on his blood-soaked chest, Sam whispered, “Don’t worry, you’re gonna be fine. The hospital isn’t far. We’ll…they’ll have you fixed up in no time.”
This, they both knew, was more for Sam’s own reassurance than Dean’s. It was obvious Dean was in bad shape.
Dean grunted softly as he gazed up into Sam’s face through heavy-lidded eyes. He could feel his blood draining from his body. There were so many things he wanted Sam to know. So many things left unsaid. Things like I love you, I admire the man you’ve become, and I am so proud of you. He tried to force the words from his wet lips, but all that came out was another mangled half-grunt, half-groan.
Not understanding, Sam squeezed his brother’s hand in reassurance before shutting the door behind him and climbing into the driver’s seat. John was waiting silently in the front passenger’s side. Too silently, in fact. Even as Sam turned the key in the ignition, bringing the car to life with a growl, he could feel his father’s glaring disapproval. Sam desperately hoped John would put this conversation on hold—for Dean’s sake if for no one else’s.
As the jet-black monster roared down the highway, Sam caught his father wince-gasp from the corner of his eye. Hoping to make a peace offering, Sam said, “Look, just hang on. We’ll be at the hospital in ten minutes.”
John sighed, letting his words come out in a whoosh. “I’m surprised at you Sam. We could have ended this thing. Here, tonight—the whole thing could’ve been over. I thought we saw eye to eye on this, Son.” His father went on. “I thought we had an understanding; this mission comes before everything, before me—before everything.”
Sam couldn’t believe his ears, Dad was a real piece of work. He glanced in the rearview mirror, checking on Dean. His brother was slumped over on the door, eyes barely open, his every breath spilling new blood down his throat and onto his chest. Furious anger at his father welled anew in Sam’s heart. Not once had their father asked how Dean was or looked back to check on his elder son’s condition. Was his dad cold and indifferent toward Dean like the demon had suggested, or was he just too afraid to look at the results of his obsession?
Again, Sam flashed his eyes to the rearview mirror. This time he was met by Dean’s pained gaze, fading green eyes seeking confirmation that Sam had learned his lesson well. Do you still feel that way, too, Sammy? Dean’s weary face seemed to be asking.
“No, Sir,” Sam spat, “Not before everything.” Sam glanced back into the mirror. He was hoping to find his brother’s approval, but Dean’s eyes were now dull and downcast, obviously seeing nothing through the heavy lids. His condition was worsening.
A mixture of terror and worry combined, a potent poison in Sam’s heart as it came bubbling up his throat. Surprising himself, Sam heard Dean’s words to him earlier that day fly from his mouth, “You selfish bastard! All you care about is revenge. Not me, not Dean, not yourself. What?! Are we expendable, easy sacrifices on the John Winchester alter of revenge?”
Twisting his grip tighter around the wheel, Sam said, “What happens after it’s over, Dad, and all you have left in your life is revenge? Is it really worth it if it costs you everything? Look Dean in the eyes,” Sam continued in the space of a breath, gesturing to the backseat, “and tell him how all this is worth it. Tell him—no, tell me that we aren’t worth living for—because, like it or not, we still need you.”
Sam’s voice softened before amending, “Look, Dad, we still have one bullet left. We can still—”
Sam’s monologue was ripped from his lungs by the sudden impact of a semi truck barreling into the passenger side of the Impala. The light was blinding and the sound was deafening as the Impala exploded in a torrent of twisting metal and shattering glass. It seemed like an eternity before the entwined vehicles finally came to rest several yards from the impact. Several minutes passed before any movement inside the destroyed car could be detected.
Pain, initially that’s all there was…fiery, stabbing, throbbing pain. Sam wasn’t sure where it was coming from. There was…music, soft music, streaming from the radio, but that was the only sound he heard at first.
Gingerly, he opened his eyes. Big mistake. Bright lights flooding the interior of the car sent cutting shards slicing through his brain. Now, where did that light come from? he thought to himself, still wincing from the shock. What happened? he wondered. This time with more caution, he slowly opened his eyes—barely a crack—and attempted to look around. Okay, he was in the car, but something was wrong…something had happened…
Jolted by a flood of memory, Sam’s eyes flew open as he remembered being sidelined by the truck. His primary thought was of family, but when he tried to sit upright, he became immersed in his own obliterating pain. Taking a deep breath, Sam winced, pain blistering through his sides and chest. Possible broken ribs. And there was an incredible throbbing in the side of his head. A mild concussion, he thought. Left wrist was probably broken, too, and there was a sharp ache in his right knee.
As Sam tried to regain control, one penetrating thought urged him on—Dean. He needed to get to his brother. His brother’s broken, bleeding body surely couldn’t withstand more abuse. And what about Dad? He hadn’t made a sound. Angling his whole body to the right let him completely view his father now, but not Dean.
“Dad…Dad, can you hear me?” he called out from swollen lips and a copper laden tongue. No sign of response. He looked his dad over. There were bloody, sweat-mixed rivulets running down his face and neck—covering the front of his shirt. He definitely had a head injury, but Sam could only guess at the seriousness. Sam touched the base of his dad’s throat—praying for a pulse.
Oh, thank God, relief flooded through him, there it is—strong and steady.
Sam maneuvered toward Dean. “Dean? Dean can you hear me?”
Silence. Once again using his good arm and leg, Sam propped himself up and twisted around to get a better look, fear running cold in his veins. Shooting knives of fire punctured his sides, causing him to suck in his breath and wrinkle his face. Releasing his breath slowly, he opened his eyes and peered into the back seat, fearfully scouring the darkness for Dean.
His heart skipped a couple of beats when he took in his brother’s limp, beaten body. The left side of Dean’s face was covered in fresh blood and he was lying propped up against the car door, his neck bent at an odd angle. The most disheartening thing, though, was Dean’s blood-soaked clothing. Not only was his entire upper body saturated in wet crimson, but it had breached Dean’s jeans—leaving pools of red on his thighs and the car seat. Blood spattered the door around his head in random droplets where his skull had forcefully slammed up against the glass window.
“Dean!” Sam yelled. Dread thickened his leaden limbs. He found himself scrambling to get out of the car—shooting pains be hanged. Sam gathered Dean into his arms as he slid into the car beside him, ignoring well-known edicts to keep the victim still. Pulling Dean across his lap, Sam fought to keep his composure, voice breaking with emotion as he cried, “Dean? Dean? Answer me! Come on, man, open your eyes. Say something!”
“Dean, don’t do this to me,” he implored, supporting his brother’s upper body with his left arm—trying to be careful of his own swollen wrist. Using his right hand, he checked for a pulse. “Please, be there, be there,” Sam prayed, begged. Warm relief wrapped around him as a thready pulse beat beneath his fingers. Fishing a forgotten t-shirt from the seat beside him, Sam gingerly began wiping away some of the blood that covered his brother’s features and then pressed the shirt into Dean’s chest hoping to staunch some of the flow.
Sam shook him. “Dean, can you hear me? It’s Sam. I need you to open your eyes and look at me, please.”
The only reply was a soft, rasping noise coming from deep inside his brother. God, Dean, that can’t be good, Sam thought, furrows creasing his sweaty brow.
“Just hang in there, Dean, I am gonna get help,” Sam assured as he removed his cell phone from his pocket and flipped it open. Using voice dial, Sam clearly enunciated the needed number and then anxiously sputtered, “Hello, 911? I have an emergency. My family and I were in an accident and my brother and dad are hurt. Hurry, we need help.” Sam proceeded to give a location as close to their position as possible.
“Yes,” he responded to the tinny voice on the line, “They are both unconscious, but both have pulses and are breathing on their own. Please hurry, though, my brother’s losing a lot of blood and he’s wheezing…I,” he stammered, “I don’t know how much longer he can hold on.” Sam pressed the phone hard into his temple, brooked the tears from his voice.
The operator gave him further instructions and promised someone would be there soon.
“Okay…thanks.” Sam ended the call, ignoring the request for him to remain on the line. “Just stay with me, Dean, it won’t be long now.” He absently patted his brother and laid a hand on the side of Dean’s face. Carefully, he drew Dean’s head toward him, trying to get a better look at the deep gash in his brow.
Dean’s eyelids fluttered lightly and he moaned weakly, “S’aamm?”
“I’m here, right here. Just, stay still. Help’s on the way,” Sam crooned in an even, calming voice.
Dean’s eyes cracked open and he appeared to be assessing the damage done to his little brother. “You...,” Dean tried, but he was consumed by a coughing fit that sent racking pains throughout his damaged body. Dean’s face crumpled in misery.
Alarmed, Sam commanded, “Don’t try to talk, please…just take it easy.” Sam’s eyes took in the pallor of his brother’s face beneath the blood and shuddered.
Not one to be bossed into anything, Dean tried again, croaking, “You….okay?” More coughing followed as his face pinched up, blood foaming at the corners of his mouth.
“I’m fine—a little banged up, but I’ll survive. It’s you I’m worried about. Please, Dean, try to conserve your energy.”
“And…Dad?” The words barely whispered out.
“Dad’s here. He’s hurt—but I think he’s going to be okay. Save your strength and don’t talk,” Sam persuaded again.
Dean began shaking harder and his breathing seemed to grow more labored as he insisted, “Sammy, I need…to tell you….” Dean paused to take another short breath before locking eyes with Sam. “I’m…proud…of you,” he grated out. “I…want you to know that...that, I’m proud to be…your brother.”
His brother’s weak smile was stolen from his face as Dean’s head shifted laxly on Sam’s arm, torment once again rendering him unconsciousness.
Sam focused on the two stray tears that had carelessly rolled down both sides of his brother’s face. He pulled Dean’s head closer, touching their foreheads. Breath hitching in his chest, Sam let the tears stream down his face, unbidden and uncontrollable.
“I love you, too, big brother. Please stay with me. I …can’t do this without you. You have to hold on. Please, Dean, for me…do this for me,” he cried, knowing Dean could never refuse his heartfelt requests.
Sam drew Dean further into his arms, cradling his brother’s head with one hand while wrapping the other around Dean’s shoulders protectively. Sam rested his cheek atop Dean’s head and coddled him, needing to be closer to his brother, needing Dean’s comfort and guidance so much just then. Through his quiet weeping, he listened to his brother’s rattling breaths. Dean was still alive, but he was losing the life and death battle with each fleeting moment he lay in Sam’s arms, drowning in his own blood.
A loud groan from the front seat broke the stillness as John Winchester woke from his unconscious state. “Dad…?” Sam squeaked from the back seat, glad for his dad’s presence just then.
John’s head slowly swung from side to side as he clawed his way toward consciousness. “Sam…that you?”
“Yeah, Dad, it’s me. You okay?” Sam gushed with relief.
“Son…what…what happened…,” John’s voice trailed off.
“We had an accident, Dad. Don’t you remember the truck hitting us?” questioned Sam, relieved his father was speaking.
“Mmm…yeah, think so…,” he answered, memory washing over him like the waves of a violent and stormy sea. “You okay, Sammy?” John tossed back.
“Got some busted bones, but I’m okay. Dad…Dean’s not so good, though. There’s so much blood and his breathing is all wrong.”
Sam’s voice sounded so small and lost, like when he was about six years old and had woken up from a night terror. It made John’s heart lurch. Sam was frightened, was making no effort to hide his fear, and that was not the man his son had grown to be. Sam never revealed his fears to his father these days. Things with Dean must be bad to evoke such blatant fear from Sam.
Spurred on by growing apprehension and Sam’s need, John moved his body forward. Smashing currents of pain smacked John back into place at once. John’s injuries made themselves clearly known. He feared one leg was broken and possibly his arm. Something was definitely very wrong because he had pretty, luminescent colors dancing in front of his eyes. John beat down the growing nausea and threatening blackness in an effort to give Sam some comfort just knowing he wasn’t alone in the car.
Sam, hearing his father’s gasps, yelled out, “Dad, you okay?”
John sucked in a few breaths and steadied himself, waiting for the pain to ease a little. “Yeah, Sam,” he grunted, “I’m okay—but I don’t think I can get back there. I’m pretty busted up. Tell me about Dean,” he gently prompted.
Sam stopped. Dean’s breathing had grown noisy enough to be easily heard. “His breathing is irregular and loud…rattles deep in his chest. He, uh, looks like he has a nasty concussion and he he’s losing a lot of blood. God, Dad. Can’t you hear him?”
Listening intently, John made the connection between the intermittent rasping sound growing louder behind him to Dean’s sawing breaths. He hadn’t realized that the harrowing noise was coming from Dean. Cold, merciless fingers of panic gripped John’s heart. Aching within, he called back to Sam in a calming voice, “And his pulse?”
Sam put two fingertips over the carotid artery in Dean’s neck and waited for the familiar thump, thump, thump of his brother’s heart. Time was at a standstill as he waited for what he knew, what he willed to be there. Just barely, he caught it. Trembling fingers made it difficult to discern, but it was there.
“Umm…well, it’s there…but it’s weak and unsteady. Worse than a few minutes ago. Dad…I think…I think we’re losing him…” Sam’s voice faded as he choked on the words.
“Don’t say that, Sam. Don’t you dare say that,” his father roared back at him, panic beneath his angry reaction. “Dean’s strong and he is a fighter—he wouldn’t dare give up.”
A retort fired to Sam’s lips, then died as his ears picked up the far-off sound of sirens. “Thank God,” Sam breathed, closing his eyes in a silent thank you to The Big Man Upstairs. Looking down again at his brother, he whispered, “Help’s on its way…please, just keep fighting, Dean. Don’t you give up on me—don’t you dare give up!”
It never even crossed his mind how closely he’d just regurgitated his father’s words, or how much he had sounded like John Winchester just then.
Chapter Two: The Rescue
In a flurry of flashing, colored lights and loud siren wails, the ambulance and rescue trucks skidded to a halt seconds after Sam finished ditching the contents of the Impala’s trunk—along with most of their fake IDs and other questionable paraphernalia. No one should be able to find the stash under all that brush.
At the first sign of the sirens, Sam had hastily, but gently levered Dean down onto the leather seat before hobbling to the trunk and agonizingly hefting the hidden box of treasures out of the car to be carried and stowed out of sight. He’d nearly dumped the entirety of the contents a few times, but somehow he’d made it despite the stinging, pulling pains screaming in various parts of his body.
He limped back to the Impala and began waving at the EMT’s. An onslaught of activity whirled around him as the medics and firefighters rushed the scene with their equipment and their questions. Overwhelmed by the commotion, his own injuries getting the better of him, Sam dropped into the driver’s seat, legs jutting out the car door. He twisted so he could watch the emergency technicians work on Dean.
As one of the male EMTs rounded the passenger’s side to help a surprisingly muted John, the female medic smiled quickly at Sam and ducked in the back to take Dean’s vitals.
“Okay,” began John’s medic, “looks like we have some moderate head trauma, arm and leg fractures, possible broken ribs with multiple lacerations and contusions. Vitals are steady and stable. What have you got?”
The lady technician hesitated—glanced furtively at Sam—and then replied, “No respirations, no pulse. Let’s get him outta here! I need a backboard—stat!” she shouted to the crew approaching them. Sam shivered violently, a lump forming in his throat as they extracted Dean from the back seat.
Using a resuscitator bag, the young woman began to fill Dean’s lungs with air, while her partner began compressions. As they counted off the compressions and breaths, Sam felt an audible sob coming from somewhere deep inside.
“No, no,” he whispered.
Sam felt his father’s strong, sure grip on his shoulder.
“He’s gonna make it, Sammy.”
Sam turned to look at him through a haze of tears. There were two fat tears sauntering lazily down his father’s cheeks. John’s brow was twisted in a maze of grief and fear.
He wouldn’t look Sam in the eye just then; perhaps he didn’t want to see the pain his greed for revenge had brought upon his youngest. Instead, John sat silently, obviously hanging on every word coming from the two medics as they tried to save the life of his firstborn.
“Nothing yet?” the voice of the male medic snapped between them.
“No, nothing. Begin again!” the woman clipped, then yelled over her shoulder to one of the first responders to get the defibrillator ready. A few minutes later, CPR was stopped so she could check Dean’s pulse again. “No—still no pulse. Let’s try a dose of epinephrine and atropine.”
Sam held his breath and watched as she filled and then jabbed the long needle straight into Dean’s failing heart. She paused to check for some sign of life. “Okay, I‘ve got ventricular fibrillations, give me the paddles,” she called.
Buttons were rapidly flipped and Sam heard the high-pitched whine of the machine as it charged.
“Clear!” the EMT declared, pressing the rigid paddles to Dean’s chest—giving him a visible jolt of electricity. His whole body jerked in response.
“Okay, check again,” the man said.
Heartbreaking seconds ticked by. It seemed like an eternity as Sam waited for her response.
“Still erratic!” came the dreaded words. “Again!” she called loudly.
Sam’s world began spinning out of control. From a distance, he could hear the technicians preparing to give his brother another shock and then Dean’s body convulsing against the backboard. Sam heroically fought to remain conscious, needing to know his brother was going to be okay, but the emotional onslaught combined with his injuries was too much for his body to handle. The embrace of blessed darkness stole his agony away.
John watched helplessly as Sam crumpled to the cold, wet earth just outside the driver’s side door. Two of the first responders jumped toward him, stretching him out and blocking his face from Sam’s view.
John was unable to see what was happening to Dean, either. He could only listen for progress on Dean and watch as the responders took Sam’s vitals.
Thoughts, recriminations, and regret poured through his mind as the full impact of what was going on assaulted him. How could this be happening, he silently prayed, my boys have already been through so much. How did I allow this to happen? I tried so hard to keep them safe. Please, God, please let them be okay. Give Dean back. Take me instead.
Please… My brave, selfless Dean. Sam needs him, you see. Dean is all that keeps Sam from becoming just like me. My headstrong, honorable Sam needs his big brother—and so do I. John opened his eyes, concentrating on the sounds around him. He heard the whining defibrillation machine as it charged for the fifth time and the familiar, “Clear!” as the medical personnel shocked Dean. John held his breath, praying to a God he’d never believed in.
“Rhythms are thready, but back to normal,” came his answer.
Thank you, John whispered, ignoring the hot tears on his face.
“Still no breath sounds—let’s get him intubated and loaded up,” the technician ordered, already inserting tubes into Dean. John caught a glimpse of him as they lifted his gurney into the air. Dean’s head was tightly bound with white gauze. He had, a growing circle of red on his forehead. Tubes protruded from his mouth and there was more than one IV leading into his arms.
John’s heart sank at the sight. Dean looked so white, so still. And there was so much blood—how could anyone possibly survive that?
This is my fault. Please, Son, hang on.
Tears stung John’s eyes as he turned back to check on Sam, who was being lifted onto his own gurney.
“Vital signs good and strong on this one,” came the answer to John’s unspoken question. “Mild concussion and maybe some cracked bones—but he’ll be just fine.”
Consolation in small measure became John’s as the firefighters began the long, arduous task of cutting him from the mangled Chevy.
A/N: Much thanks to Mady Bay for her original beta work and gratitude in spades to Sodakey for taking on the enormous job of re-beta’ing the re-write.
Current edits end...
Chapter 3: Because It’s Dean
“…Can you hear me? Young man…can you hear me?” a far away voice called out to Sam’s semi-consciousness. He heard another, more masculine voice reply, “I think he’s starting to come around.”
“Mmmmm…,” Sam groaned as his eyes began to focus on the sights around him. White, lots and lots of white - where was he? The last thing he remembered was…something bad…pain…pain which he could still feel. There was more, though…a crash? Memory slammed into Sam for the second time that night. “Dean! Where’s my brother,” he yelled, panic stricken. The last thing he remembered was the paramedics working on his brother, trying to restart his heart.
“It’s okay, young man, just try to relax. You’re in the hospital and-” said the first voice which Sam could now see belonged to an older woman dressed in nurses’ scrubs.
“My brother! Where is my brother?!” Sam heaved. “I have to see my brother, please…,” he began, his eyes darting around the small room. The nurse smiled at him with something like sympathy as she continued to work busily around him.
“Please, Son,” the second voice consoled, “We need for you to stay calm. I’m Dr. Bennett and I’ll be your attending physician. I need to ask you some questions while I assess your condition.
Despite his hazy vision, Sam endeavored to look around him, still desperately seeking Dean. Pushing himself into a sitting position, he burst out, “Listen, Doctor, I really need to see my brother, please…I need to know he’s alive!”
Sighing in resignation, knowing that an exam was futile until Sam became more cooperative, the doctor walked over to one of the curtains that separated the young man from the rest of the room. Smoothly drawing it back – he revealed Dean a few feet away on his own gurney. There was a blur of activity all around him as he was hooked up to a wide assortment of machines and IVs, which were being adjusted and monitored by various hospital staff.
Sam looked on as Dean’s attending physician prepared to insert a chest tube to drain the collecting blood away from his lungs. Sam’s breath caught in his throat; he couldn’t believe that it was really his brother. Dean looked so lifeless and vulnerable. Definitely not his fearless, invulnerable big brother – the righter of all wrongs.
Unable to take his eyes off of the elder Winchester and afraid to use his voice, Sam just sat and stared with his mouth agape, raw emotion springing to his eyes as Dr. Bennett briefly explained, “They’re trying to stabilize your brother’s condition so they can get him into surgery. He has massive internal bleeding, a possible punctured lung and he isn’t breathing on his own. That’s about all I can tell you at this point. I’m sorry I don’t have more extensive or better news. If he makes it through surgery, I’m sure that his doctor will update you on his prognosis.”
If he makes it through surgery? Sam wondered as his brain focused on the “If” part of that sentence.
“He’s a real fighter, that brother of yours, he obviously has a strong will to live and that makes all the difference in these situations. Most people with that kind of blood loss wouldn’t have made it this far.”
The doctor sighed softly. “I have worked the emergency room for nearly 20 years and I see it time and time again. Attitude and will to live can be the deciding factors between life and death. From what I can see, your brother must have plenty of both,” the doctor said, hoping to ease Sam’s mind.
“Now, about you…,” Dr. Bennett initiated, “Let’s start by lying back down on the bed here and letting me examine you. Good, that’s just fine.”
As his doctor began to probe and prod various body parts and tissues, Sam continued to try and sneak a peek at his ailing brother next to him. “Does this hurt?” the doctor asked. “Okay, good. What about this?”
Yelping sharply, Sam jerked his eyes to where the doctor had just pressed. “Yep, that’s what I thought. Your knee is probably cracked, maybe even broken. We won’t know for sure until we get some x-rays, but with all that swelling - I’d say it’s a pretty sure thing that it is a hairline fracture.”
“Now, can you tell me your name?” the doctor asked, shining a bright light into each of Sam’s bloodshot eyes.
“Ssa…Sam,” he croaked, trying to clear his dry throat.
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that, Sam, we can’t allow any food or drink until your exam’s complete and we know exactly what we’re dealing with,” the doctor informed him.
“Okay, Sam, now we’re going to draw some blood for routine tests and then get you down to X-Ray. After that, if all goes well and there’re no surprises, we can get you into a room and more comfortable,” the doctor stated as he turned to walk away.
Sam tentatively stopped Dr. Bennett by placing his hand on the doctor’s white-coated arm, asking, “What about my dad?”
“Hmmm, I’m not sure, Sam. Last I heard they were still trying to cut him out of the car. They had some difficulty because of the way his legs were pinned in. Tell you what, though, I’ll go check and let you know before we take you to Radiology.” The doctor smiled reassuringly at him once more.
“Thanks, Doc,” Sam answered, nodding his gratitude as the doctor hurried away.
The younger Winchester turned his head back to Dean just in time to see them wheeling him out of the room. Must be taking him to surgery now, Sam worriedly thought. “Please, Dean, just keep fighting,” he whispered quietly under his breath. When Sam could no longer see his unconscious brother, he finally relaxed fully onto the cot and let out a long sigh. He knew this was going to be a long, drawn-out situation that would require buckets of patience. All emergency rooms and medical procedures seemed to be the same on this particular point.
After what seemed like several long minutes and several sighs later, the doctor glided back into Sam’s cubicle and pronounced, “Okay, Sam, your blood results look good and its time to get you down to Radiology. Someone will be here shortly to take you there. I’ll see you a little later to give you a full report on your condition.”
“Hey, Doc, did you find out anything about my dad?” Sam questioned before the doctor had time to escape once again.
“Oh, right, I’m sorry. Well, they were just getting him out of the car and loaded into the ambulance a few minutes ago. He should be here real soon. Don’t worry, I think he’s going to be okay,” informed Dr. Bennett.
I wish they could say the same about Dean, Sam’s thoughts lamented, instead of giving me some pitying speech about will to live. Oh, man, Dean. What’s going on with you right now? Are you still fighting or…, Sam couldn’t finish that thought. Out loud he replied, “Thanks, Doc…for everything.”
“No problem, Sam, I’ll see you later.”
Silently, as Sam was wheeled to Radiology, he began to pray, Please God, be with Dean and keep him alive. Don’t let the last thing he remembers be the demon’s words or Dad and I fighting in the car. I just want the chance to tell him the things he needs to hear and the things I need to say...
Mercifully, John was finally taken to the emergency room where doctors attended to this and nurses attended to that. Apparently, he was going to need careful observation due to his concussion as well as a few bones set in casts. The concussion was the main worry and they had all marveled at his alertness and good vitals. He seemed to be doing quite a bit better than what was expected, under the circumstances. They didn’t know that he was running on pure adrenaline and will alone.
Once they administered the morphine into his IV, he no longer cared about much. The medicine sent a warm invitation through his veins that beckoned him to sleep. It was very difficult to keep his eyes open now and he was beginning to feel reasonably annoyed at all the questions and other disturbances which prevented him from sweet slumber. However, John stubbornly clung to consciousness despite the heavy-handed ways of the medicine, hoping to get some news about his boys. His boys needed him and that’s all that mattered.
John was much calmer now then when they had first brought him in. Then, he’d been nearly frantic trying to get someone to update him on his sons’ condition, ready to clock someone if they didn’t stop long enough to listen to him. But everyone seemed more focused on getting John hooked up, poked, tested, and encased in plaster here and there. Finally, a kindly attending physician of about John’s age - who apparently had worked on Sammy - came over and shared what he knew of John’s sons. Clearly, the staff had become aware of the imminent back-lash that was building inside the near explosive man.
“You must be Mr. Anderson, Sam’s father?” the doctor began.
Okay, that must be another one of Sam and Dean’s fake IDs, John assumed.
“Uh, yeah, that’d be me. How’s my boys?” John asked, nerves on edge.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Bennett and I was your son’s attending physician. Well, Mr. Anderson-“
“Call me John, please,” he inserted, feeling a little strange being called by a foreign name and knowing that his alias shared his given name.
“Well, John, your younger son is one lucky man. In fact, I would say that your family in general must’ve had a higher power watching over you tonight because most people don’t survive such a tangle with a semi. Sam has a broken wrist, some bruised ribs, a mild concussion, a slight fracture to his knee and some minor cuts and abrasions. Naturally, we are going to keep him here for a few days to monitor his condition - to make sure there are no adverse effects from the head trauma or any other problems we might’ve missed. All in all, I’d say he’ll be just fine in no time.”
Nodding with relief, John asked, “What about my other son, Dean?”
The doctor hesitated, then said, “Honestly, John, I really can’t say for certain. I wasn’t his ‘attending’ and I only know that they had stabilized his condition well enough for him to be taken up to surgery a couple of hours ago. From what I could see at the time, he had some internal injuries and he was hooked up to a ventilator, which means he wasn’t breathing on his own.”
“Beyond that, you’ll have to speak with his doctor when he comes out of surgery. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.” Then, sparing a brief pat on the hunter’s forearm, Dr. Bennett excused himself, saying, “It was nice meeting you, John. Try not to worry ‘cause Sam’s gonna be fine and your other son is in good hands. Now if you will excuse me I need to get back to my other patients.”
“Thanks, Doc,” John said, shaking the good doctor’s outstretched hand before watching him disappear around flapping, loose curtains. John reached up with his free hand and rubbed his gritty, bloodshot eyes as he blew out the puff of air he had unknowingly held for so long. Once again he found himself wondering how this all turned out to be such a mess. He had nearly lost not one, but both of his sons tonight. And still, the demon got away. If only Sam had…he began-“Nope, don’t go there, John,” he reprimanded quietly, giving himself a good, hard mental shake.
Unbidden came the memory of Dean being lifted into the air, covered in blood, quiet and still as death with tubes all around while his baby brother lay pale and unconscious on the ground below him. For the first time since the accident happened, John began to doubt his priorities and question his words so coldly spoken to his youngest just before the lights and the broken glass.
Just then his nurse came breezing back into the cubicle. “Okay, ready to go for a ride?” she cheered as two more medical personnel followed in right behind her. “These nice fellows are going to take you up and get you settled into your room. From there, a ward nurse will take over your care. Good luck and I hope you get to feeling better soon,” she called as he was transferred to a new bed and rolled away.
Four hours, it’s been exactly four hours since I last saw Dean… Sam was beginning to feel very antsy, nerves taut and strained by the waiting. What could possible be taking so long? Is four hours typical? Maybe it’s good news that I haven’t heard anything more…
Before he could pose more questions to torture himself with, he noticed an increase of activity just outside the doorway of his room. Looks like they’re bringing someone in-
“Dad!” Sudden relief overcame Sam at the sight of his father. He sat up in his bed and saw that his dad looked a little worse for the wear, but mostly okay.
“Sammy, Son, I’m glad to see you’re okay,” John exclaimed, just as surprised as Sam to realize they’d be sharing a room.
“Are you okay, Dad?” came Sam’s tentative question, one eyebrow raised in wonder at the relieved look passing across his father’s face. Maybe he’d misjudged his father.
“Yeah, just a little banged up is all...what about you? You look a lot better than when I last saw you,” John waved off Sam’s concern as the attendants got him settled into the bed next to his son’s.
“I’m okay,” Sam gestured to his bandages and shrugged. “Look, Dad…about Dean…”
Sam tried but his voice failed him as the painful words refused to come.
“Sam, your brother’s gonna be okay – he’s strong and he’ll pull through this.”
John interjected what he knew Sam needed to hear, what he needed to hear.
This caused Sam to lift his gaze to meet his father’s as he questioned, a frown of doubt on his face, “How can you be so sure…you weren’t there in the emergency room…you didn’t see…he was so…”
“I’m sure,” John stated, his voice rough, “because this is Dean we’re talkin’ about. It’s Dean…,” he trailed off as if this was explanation enough. He hoped to keep up the false perception that he and Sam had held so long that Dean was super-invincible. Hidden in his own mind, however, was the urgent thought that his elder son had to be okay simply because John Winchester could never forgive himself if he wasn’t.
a/n: Thanks again to Mady Bay for helping me to get this whipped into shape, grammatically and mechanically speaking.